Southern Tomato Sandwich (A Summer Classic)

Indulge in the simple pleasure of a summertime Southern Tomato Sandwich. Ripe red tomatoes, mayonnaise, and soft white bread combine a delightful combination of taste and texture. A summer classic that’s timeless and comforting and never fails to please my taste buds. If you’re looking for a simple sandwich, indulge in this classic that only takes 5 minutes to prepare.

We have hot summers here in the south, and a heavy lunch is usually out of the question. Southern Tomato Sandwiches were a childhood favorite and are still a favorite sandwich today.

Southern Tomato Sandwich on a black plate.

Growing up, my mom would make a bunch of sandwiches, call us all in from playing outside, and serve us a simple tomato sandwich for lunch with some iced cold Kool-Aid to drink. Childhood memories take me back to the good ole days of summer. I thought it was the best summertime lunch then and still do today. Tomato sandwiches are a southern thing made with the freshest tomatoes, Duke’s mayonnaise, and squishy fresh slices of bread.

Be sure to check out my Southern Tomato Pie, which is simple and quite delicious. It’s made with ripe tomatoes and caramelized onions and is always a crowd-pleaser.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Fresh Flavors: The ripe tomato adds a fresh garden taste to every bite. Soft bread, juicy tomatoes, and lots of mayo complement each other well. There’s just something about making that first tomato sandwich of the season.

Simple: You can make an incredibly easy sandwich with just a few ingredients. A fast, fuss-free, and delicious lunch during the summer months. A straightforward recipe.

Versatile: This sandwich can be customized to your desires. Add some crispy bacon, sliced cheese, lettuce, jalapenos, or avocados. Create your flavor combination.

Budget Friendly: This recipe only requires simple, budget-friendly ingredients. You’ll only need bread and mayonnaise if you grow your own tomatoes.

Ingredients Needed for The Perfect Tomato Sandwich

See the recipe card below for a complete list of ingredients and amounts.

Ingredients for a Southern Tomato Sandwich.

This is a super simple Southern classic recipe with simple ingredients. Everything can be found in your local grocery store, and the tomatoes can be found at a local farmer’s market during the summer. You might also decide to put a tomato plant in the ground next spring to have some homegrown tomatoes in your backyard. 

  • Bread Slices– I use white bread for my sandwiches. But use your favorite brand. You’ll need two slices of bread for each sandwich.
  • Tomatoes -Tomatoes are the star of the show, and thick slices of red ripe tomatoes are just hard to beat during the summer months. I usually grow my tomatoes in my garden and pick them fresh from my tomato plant/plants. Some of my favorite fresh tomatoes are Celebrity, Beefsteak, Cherokee Purple, Roma, or Heirloom tomatoes. Again, use what you like best.
  • Mayonnaise – My favorite mayonnaise is Duke’s Mayonnaise, but use your favorite, and it will be delicious.
  • Salt & Black Pepper: The only seasonings you will need for this sandwich.
  • Bacon – Optional – Crispy bacon always takes this sandwich to a new level. Who can say no to crispy bacon? Not me.

How to Make A Summer Classic Southern Tomato Sandwich

For detailed instructions, see the recipe card below.

  1. Mayonnaise both pieces of bread.
  2. Add sliced tomatoes, salt, and pepper.
  3. Add the top piece of bread and enjoy.
How to make a classic tomato sandwich on a plate with tomatoes and mayonnaise in the background.

What Kind of Bread is Best for a Tomato Sandwich

My personal preference is squishy white bread. Fresh bread always makes the best sandwiches. You know it’s fresh when it sticks to the roof of your mouth with every bite. The kind of bread you choose for your sandwich is up to you. Whole grain bread or wheat bread are also nice choices.

What Are the Best Tomatoes for a Classic Tomato Sandwich

There are many varieties and different types of tomatoes. The kind of tomato you choose for your sandwich is a personal preference. Some varieties and good choices of tomatoes are Mortgage Lifters, Celebrity, Beefsteak, Cherokee Purple, or an Heirloom variety. For the best flavor, choose a ripe red tomato. Summer tomatoes have the best flavors and make a really good sandwich. Thick tomato slices on a sandwich just can’t be beaten.

Backyard homegrown tomatoes are the best, but farmer’s markets come in a close second. 

Tips and Variations for a Classic Southern Tomato Sandwich

  • Mix and match the ingredients and get creative with your sandwiches. The ingredients you add are a personal preference.
  • If you find your tomatoes are too juicy, slice them and place the slices of tomato on a piece of paper towel. This will absorb some of the juices and keep your sandwich from getting soggy.
  • Use the mayonnaise of your choice. I prefer Duke’s mayonnaise. Or make homemade mayonnaise if desired.
  • Toast your bread.
  • Add cheese. Cheese and tomatoes are a classic pairing and go well on a sandwich. Cheddar and Mozzarella are two of my favorites.
  • Bacon – Add a few strips of crispy cooked bacon to your tomato sandwich and create a satisfying flavor.
Tomato Sandwich on plate with mayonnaise and tomatoes in the background.

What To Serve with A Southern Tomato Sandwich

Southern Iced Tea – Classic Southern Sweet Tea is easily made with tea bags, sugar, and water. Nothing is better to quench your thirst than a tall glass of this refreshing summertime treat.

Homemade Limeade – Make the best of this summer heat with a tall glass of refreshing Homemade Limeade. This recipe is super easy, delicious, and cools you down on a hot day. 

Potato Chips – I like a good salty chip with my sandwich.

Corn Salad – This Mexican Corn Salad is cool, refreshing and goes great with a tomato sandwich. 

Watermelon – A cold slice of watermelon goes great with anything on a hot summer day.

Macaroni Salad – This delightful Classic Macaroni Salad with Peas is easy to make and goes great as a side to any meal.

More Tomato Recipes

Southern Tomato Pie

Southern Fried Green Tomatoes

Southern Tomato Cracker Salad

Southern Tomato Gravy

Easy No-Bake Desserts

Kool-Aid Pie

No-Bake Chocolate Cookies

Milk and Cookies Oreo Dessert

Southern Banana Pudding

Easy Watergate Salad Dessert

Southern Tomato Sandwich cut in half on a plate.

Southern Tomato Sandwich (A Summer Classic)

Gina Abernathy
Indulge in the simple pleasure of a summertime Southern Tomato Sandwich. Ripe red tomatoes, mayonnaise, and soft white bread combine a delightful combination of taste and texture. A summer classic that's timeless and comforting and never fails to please my taste buds. If you're looking for a simple sandwich, indulge in this classic that only takes 5 minutes to prepare.
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Course Lunch
Cuisine Southern
Servings 2 sandwiches


  • 4 slices White Bread
  • 4 tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tomato medium – large, ripe, sliced
  • Salt & Black Pepper to taste


  • Spread the top of each slice of bread with mayonnaise.
  • Slice the tomato into ¼ – ½ inch slices.
  • Divide the tomato slices between two pieces of bread and season with salt and pepper. Place the other two slices of bread (mayonnaise-side down), on top of the tomatoes. Serve.


Slice the sandwiches in half if desired.
Be sure to season the tomatoes with salt & black pepper.
These sandwiches are best eaten immediately. 
Feel free to add other ingredients: crispy bacon, lettuce, or cheese.
Keyword Southern Tomato Sandwich (A Summer Classic)

If you are looking for an easy homemade mayonnaise recipe, check out this link for the recipe.


  1. 5 stars
    We enjoyed these for lunch and the tomato sandwiches turned out delish! The sandwiches were quick to put together and offered a refreshing meal for the kids and I after their summer camp activities. A nice break from the usual sandwiches I make them.

  2. 5 stars
    Love tomato sandwiches! This is exactly how I’ve always made them and they’re so good with fresh garden tomatoes!

  3. 5 stars
    These sandwiches are great for when you need a quick lunch on a busy day. Fresh garden tomatoes always taste the best!

  4. 5 stars
    I never would have thought to use tomatoes like this, but this sandwich was delicious. I will definitely make it again.

  5. 5 stars
    I love tomatoes! I have fresh tomatoes from my garden so I made these. The first time the bread got saggy. Didn’t care for it. The second time I toasted the bread and they were perfectly delicious!

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